Lucy Bullivant Speaker

Lucy Bullivant

Leading place vision strategist, curator, award-winning author, consultant, founder and creative director of Urbanista

Lucy Bullivant: Biography highlights

Lucy Bullivant is a place vision strategist, curatorial director, award-winning author, advisor and public speaker with extensive experience of collaborating with and across the cultural, public and private sectors globally.

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Full biography of Lucy Bullivant

Lucy Bullivant’s background

Lucy Bullivant PhD Hon FRIBA is a leading architecture curator, a place vision strategist, award-winning author and consultant who investigates and evaluates innovative synergies in contemporary architecture and urban design between theory and practice across cultures. Through her consultancy, Lucy Bullivant & Associates, she has created and delivered more than 100 groundbreaking and popular projects of public value: educational initiatives and cultural strategies, exhibitions, lectures, books, magazines, media features, videos and public information material on priorities for architecture, urban design, master-planning and place-making.

She provides extensive specialist guidance to clients nationally through her work as Expert – Specialist (Design Council), chair of the Lambeth Design Review Panel, a member of the Brent Council Design Review Panel, Enfield Place and Design Quality Panel and the Yorkshire Design Review Service, and formerly as a member of the London Legacy Development Corporation Quality Review Panel (2012-13). Internationally she has in recent years successfully delivered consultancy projects to Bydel Bjerke local authority, Oslo; University of Qatar; ANCB, Berlin; and the Latvian Development and Investment Agency. Lucy applies her insight, sound judgement and rigour, international specialist research, writing and curatorial skills and experience. She provides expert research-led guidance, she pinpoints priorities and builds resources, enables clients to take advantage of innovative and adaptive ways of thinking and acting.

Lucy was elected an Honorary Fellow of RIBA in 2010 for her services to architectural culture globally. She has a PhD in adaptive planning from the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University and an MA(RCA) in Cultural History from the Royal College of Art, and is a Trustee of Temple Bar Trust and a Liveryman of the Chartered Society of Architects.

In the early 1990s Lucy was Heinz Curator of Architectural Programmes, Royal Academy of Arts, London, before founding Lucy Bullivant & Associates, her consultancy business working with museums and galleries, publishers, academic and professional bodies on a wide range of projects of public value: exhibitions, strategy, publications, debates and symposia.

As a groundbreaking non-fiction author, Lucy has for 30 years chronicled innovative creative practices in architecture and urban design and their shape-shifting contribution to society. Her book Masterplanning Futures (Routledge, 2012) won Book of the Year at the Urban Design Group Awards, 2014. This award-winning book is a global analysis of the ideals and processes of contemporary adaptive planning, and a second edition will be published in late 2021.

A longstanding investigative journalist, Lucy has, in addition to her focus on liveable urbanism globally for her webzine, contributed to the Cities and International Development sections of The Guardian, The Financial Times, and been interviewed twice by Forbes magazine; and by ADM (Milan) and Arkitekten (Sweden).

She has given radio and video interviews to Channel 4, Monocle and other European and international tv and print media. Lucy is a widely respected and internationally read critic in the field of architecture and urban design, a contributor to Architects’ Journal, Architectural Review and Domus, some of the world’s most authoritative international architectural magazines. She has also written for Al Manakh, published as a special edition of Volume monitoring new developments in the Gulf Region.

Lucy has given keynotes and moderated for many international clients on Post COVID urban recovery and reinvention. She advocates higher design standards and experimental multidisciplinary strategies for liveable urbanism countering the negative effects of inequality, climate change and globalisation on communities.



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Available for:

After Dinner Engagement
Moderating and Emcee

Watch Lucy in action

1/7 videos
What is a visionary city? | Lucy Bullivant | TEDxViennaSalon
What is a visionary city? | Lucy Bullivant | TEDxViennaSalon
Nordic Urban Lab 2018 - keynote by Lucy Bullivant
Nordic Urban Lab 2018 - keynote by Lucy Bullivant
Lucy Bullivant. Lecture "Masterplanning Futures"
Lucy Bullivant. Lecture "Masterplanning Futures"
Lucy Bullivant - Interview - Architects meet in Fuoribiennale_OFF
Lucy Bullivant - Interview - Architects meet in Fuoribiennale_OFF
Lucy Bullivant - Masterplanning Futures
Lucy Bullivant - Masterplanning Futures
H·O·R·T·U·S - Roundtable Discussion and Harvest Night - Part 2
H·O·R·T·U·S - Roundtable Discussion and Harvest Night - Part 2
Tampere University of Technology, Finland (Re-City conference & keynote, 2017)

“Thank you once more for your excellent lecture and participation in Re-City 2017. I hope you had a lovely weekend in Tampere and a safe travel to home.”

Juho Rajaniemi
Professor of Urban Planning
CNN International, London (presenter of the LEAF international architectural awards 2011, staged at the 5-star Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London)

“I work with Lucy on the LEAF Architectural Awards. Her knowledge & her hard work as a judge as well as presenting the awards in 2011 was faultless. She is always happy to help and I am pleased that once again she is on the judging panel for the 2012 award show.”

Natasha Raynor
Global Digital Sales Manager
Chinese University of Hong Kong, formerly Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, 2017-2019

“I recently served as Dr Lucy Bullivant’s mentor for her PhD by Prior Output at the CASS, London Metropolitan University (where I was PhD supervisor, 2010-17) based on her award-winning book Masterplanning Futures, 2012, essays and exhibitions.

Lucy has a remarkably rich, wide ranging knowledge of international contemporary cities. Her continuous enquiry and generosity with her audiences captures imaginations and future collaborators.

She draws on architectural and urban history, planning, anthropology, politics, economics, ecology, sociology and design practice to enrich her publications, lectures, conferences and exhibitions. Her energy, commitment and sound judgement means she occupies a quite singular position in a field of deep significance to the Anthropocene crisis.

We are indebted to her for our better understanding of the shift in city-making from top-down design and systems to an engaged, bottom up orchestration of sustainable creative civic life, with communication and collaboration addressing a much wider constituency than professional discourse among experts.

She embeds her consultancy approach within the possibilities and limitations of concrete conditions, benefitting from an unusually broad range of colleagues and collaborators: politicians, business leaders, academics, architects, urbanists and ordinary citizens.

I have nothing but admiration for Lucy’s work. I recommend her in the very highest terms, without reservation.”

Peter Carl
Distinguished Professor
RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), 1995-2012 (2019)

“Lucy Bullivant is a compelling, engaging and responsive speaker; she’s comfortable with audiences in a large auditorium, as well as with smaller professional panels. Often the two are in combination and Lucy handles this well. She has an ability to guide her listeners and shift their focus, from her supporting videos/photos to a panel member’s input, whilst offering historical reflection, artistic principles and practical information. She also has an interesting dynamic voice and uses it well. She appears to be at the top of her profession in experience and scholarship and is able to relay this both to experts and those who might be new to her subject.”

Ellen Newman
Senior Voice Tutor and Head of Voice
Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), Barcelona, Spain (Congrés d’Arquitectura, COAC, 2016)

“The presence of Lucy Bullivant caused a stir in the room. She is an author and advisor who researches processes of urban design and innovative synergies, known for her articles on architecture in The Guardian and publications including Masterplanning Futures… Bullivant defined and exemplified the new priorities of contemporary urban planning: the social equality of citizens, the diversification of land uses, the need to reinvent the infrastructure, and the achievement of ecologically advanced results.”

Lluis Comeron and Roger Subirà
AIA NYC chapter (Launch event for Lucy’s book, Masterplanning Futures, AIA Center of Architecture, NYC, 2013)

“Bullivant’s presentation was like a speed-mentoring session through her very thoughtful and detailed book, beginning with the over-arching premise that there has been a “necessary evolution” from 20th-century top-down master planning, which tended towards a “cut-and-paste urbanism,” to 21st-century bottom-up “adaptive” planning. The challenges facing cities and regions today, she said, require “a dynamic relationship and equilibrium” between those top-down aspirations of the past” and “bottom-up thinking” of today.”

Kirsten Richards
Editor, Oculus
Department of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London

“I invited Lucy to lecture to our Masters students of architecture at the Royal College of Art. She gave the most well prepared, fluent and cogent talk of the whole series, packed with research and thoughts, and brilliantly illustrated with a generous pack of slides.”

Alex Haw
Atmos (art + architecture), Tutor

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